The one about the rainbow party

It’s taken three days but I think I have finally recovered from my daughter’s first proper birthday party. And, although I needed to go and lie down in a darkened room afterwards, the smell of sweet success (and only one juice-spilling tears incident) still leaves me with a satisfied smile.

At four years old Frog was quite clear about what she wanted. She requested a rainbow themed birthday party and was eager to invite lots of her friends. Seeing as we’ve only lived in Devon for just under a year, many of her friends are fairly new ones. I thought organising a proper birthday party would be a good way of encouraging her friendships and help us take stock of how well settled we are here now. Plus, I am clearly a sucker for punishment.

With the village hall booked, the invites sent and an entertainer secured (Pyjama Drama – can’t recommend them enough), I got to work scouring Pinterest for some good rainbow food and decor ideas. Be warned: there is A LOT of rainbow party inspiration on Pinterest.

Decorations for a rainbow party

The decorations were a mixture of things I’d made, bought for a bargain on eBay, been sent by my friend Alison after a trip to Tiger, and things I already had.

We hung the polka dot bunting my mum made for our wedding around the hall, along with some rainbow bunting bought on eBay (from this seller) and some more from Tiger. I embraced my inner Mr Maker and used pale blue card to make some big cloud shapes and stuck different coloured tissue paper from them to create a rainbow effect (I used white cotton to hang them from hooks on the wall).

I also made some Pinterest and Instagram-friendly tissue paper pom-poms using this tutorial on YouTube. And I threaded some multi-coloured felt pom-poms we already had onto a string of pale blue wool, for another little decoration.

We had the obligatory multi-coloured balloons, along with some edible decorations in the form of empty jam jars filled with layers of smarties, decorated with a rainbow ribbon (bought from this seller on eBay) and a matching mini cloud. Yeah, I know, I may have got a little carried away.

Healthy rainbow party food

When it came to the food, Pinterest was my saviour. I struggled to find that many savoury, healthy options for rainbow party themed food, but I did come across the idea to cut sandwiches into cloud shapes using a cookie cutter. My husband found this incredibly amusing – until I set him to work making the rest. And then there were the rainbow platters of veg with pots of hummus, along with some homemade (*polishes halo*) rainbow pizza strips.

I did all this on the morning before the party, as past experience has shown me that sandwiches made too far in advance just go hard and stale. Plus, I was too busy the night before making the birthday cake (never, ever, ever, ever again).

As there were no tables the kids ate their lunch on the floor, out of paper lunchboxes – another eBay find. That made the clearing up much easier too, because less of the food strayed onto the floor.

Topping it all off, making it Pinterest-pretty were some retro multi-coloured straws I’d found on eBay, along with some gorgeous mini rainbow parasols, polka dot table cloth, napkins and cute plates sent to me by the lovely team at Love the Little Things.

Rainbow sweet foods

For afters, we had rainbow fruit kebabs (massive hit – there were none left at the end) rainbow jelly courtesy of my long-suffering dad, rainbow decorated fairy cakes  – just butter icing with a strip of rainbow fizzy sweet on top – and gluten and dairy-free brownies for the kids with intolerances.

And the jars of sweets, obviously.

Rainbow birthday cake

The birthday cake – the pièce de résistance – was a real labour of love. My sister helped me make it the night before and we were up until gone midnight finishing it off. I’m sure experienced bakers wouldn’t make such a meal of it, but Mary Berry I am not.

I used a recipe from the Good Food magazine that has a mascarpone icing, but I’m told Alice at More Than Toast has a fool-proof recipe too (and there are loads all over Pinterest). It was surprisingly tasty with no trace of the food colourings in the sponge, plus the kids were hopping from foot to foot when they realised it had six layers – “SIX LAYERS MUM!!” – of different colours they could get stuck into.

The whole party only lasted two hours which was, in hindsight, the perfect length for 17 excited four year olds (and more than enough time for their knackered parents to sit around and drink tea gossiping).

Booking Pyjama Drama as the entertainment proved to be money well spent, as it saved us from having to organise party games, plus it gave the (self-proclaimed) Northern Love Machine and my dad some quality time to read the newspaper and drink coffee in another room. Yes OF COURSE I took a sneaky photo after I’d rumbled them…

Escaping the partyMy friend Leanna (formerly of Diary of a Premmy Mum fame) went above and beyond the call of duty and helped welcome the kids, hand out stickers and give them cuddles – dressed as a giant Peppa Pig! I know. She is a bloody brilliant friend.

Not only that, but she came back in as Peppa later on to help hand out the party bags. Frog was BESIDE herself and regularly asks if Peppa Pig will be coming over for tea now.

And my mum proved her worth (and set the bar high) yet again by making each and every party bag. And when I say “making”, I don’t mean stuffing them with toys, I mean actually making. She sewed each one on her sewing machine, so that the kids would have a proper useful little bag to use afterwards to carry around whatever four year olds seem to carry around.

We filled the bags with a mini multi-coloured crayon set, some craft multi-coloured lollipop sticks and animal foam shapes, a fun bath toy, a bouncy ball (thanks to Love the Little Things!), some animal snap cards and a balloon. No sweets, but they got a piece of the monster rainbow cake to take home with them instead.

Because I’m clearly the world’s worst blogger I didn’t take any photos of the bags – or of my daughter blowing out the candles on her birthday cake – but it’s fair to say it’s a day none of us are going to forget for a while.

And of course, if I wasn’t pregnant I would have hit the gin bottle by 5pm that day. Still, big success. Now I just need a year to recover before the next one!


  1. says

    Photos for the blog not important – you lived every moment with your child and *that’s* important. It sounds FANTASTIC and I’m sure Frog will remember it for ages.

    • says

      Ah thanks Nickie! I hope she bloody does – took enough work! Seriously though, I wouldn’t have bothered making the effort if she hadn’t been so excited (and specific!) about it all. In the end I actually rather enjoyed it, in a weird kind of way.

  2. says

    I think you have outdone yourself. …..It looks amazing, and I’m sure it will be one of Frogs fondest memories for the rest of her life! *pat on the back for you*

  3. says

    The cake is a TRIUMPH! Well done. It all looks so good. You are brilliant – especially when you had a little girl with her leg in a cast to look after! Mum points a go-go!! x

  4. says

    Gorgeous party! You rocked the first children’s birthday party! We did a first children’s party this year too for Talitha’s 3rd. It was such fun but SO MUCH work! I love all the effort you went to. The cake, even the rainbow colour boxes, oh my! And I love that your mum sewed the party bags – what a brilliant idea! In a way it’s good that you didn’t get pics of everything. It means you were living it. x

    • says

      Ah thanks Adele. We certainly were living it. Living and breathing rainbows and now very ready to not see one for a while! x

  5. Ghislaine Forbes says

    I’ve got lots of photos on my camera , if only I could be bothered to learn how to download and share! It was a brilliant party. I’m considering going into partnership with Amanda from Pyjama Drama as it looked good fun from the outside. She was hugely skillful and creative. Love ma x

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